The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part Movie Review

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part: a Delightful, Funny, and Worthy Follow Up to a Game Changing Predecessor!

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part was directed by Mike Mitchell (director of Trolls) and penned by Phil Lord and Chris Miller of the first Lego Movie and 2018’s critically acclaimed Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.  After The Lego Movie was released in 2014 to critical and financial success, film fans waited in anticipation to see what these Lego movies were going to do next.  Many acknowledged the potential for many different types of stories to be told after that original movie, and what we ended up getting was interesting.  We first had The Lego Batman Movie in 2017, which was generally seen as a really fun and creative film that was self-referential but could also serve as a great animated standalone Batman film.  Then we also got the Lego Ninjago Movie later that year which, admittedly, I still have not seen.  To be fair, however, you probably haven’t either as the film was a financial flop and was mostly forgotten upon its release.  This was likely since it came out the same weekend as the highly anticipated Kingsman: The Golden Circle (which I saw at the time over Ninjago)But now that we have a new Lego Movie which follows up the original, one major question remains…

Is this family adventure as good as the first two outings of the franchise?

The answer to that I would say is mostly yes! The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is very funny, creative, and above all entertaining.  Although, it’s not as good as the first one is, I still really love this one and think it’s an absolute blast that you should see in theaters!  The first aspect that I can rave about here is the incredible animation present.  Done by Animal Logic once again, the animation in this film is lifelike, creative, and incredibly realistic.  Seeing the film in theaters helped give the animation more justice as small details present in the animation really came to life here and likely would not have been noticeable on a standard screen like a phone, tv, or computer screen.  In fact, I would advise you avoid putting on those dark 3D glasses for this one as you’ll want to be able to see the bright screen to notice every detail.  The detail is so incredible that some of the Lego characters have traits in their design like bite marks, tears in their accessories, and even faded designs of clothes on their block bodies that were so much fun to notice.  The character animation as well including the way they move as so fun to watch as not one character is identical in their movements.  Since all these characters possess different designs in their bodies, they all walk differently.  Some walk normally, others hop, and even one character floats and shape shifts.  That character, Queen Watevra Wa-Nabi, voiced by Tiffany Haddish, had such fun and creative animation that admittedly must have been very difficult to work with.

But these films are not just good for the style, the substance is good too!  These films have a reputation for being fast, funny, and entertaining and this film does not disappoint.  Phil Lord and Chris Miller are very talented when it comes to writing hilarious and entertaining scripts that leave you watching from the first scene to the final one.  And if you’re wondering what other movies they’ve done besides these two Lego Movies, they’ve also worked on 21 Jump Street22 Jump Street as well as Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.  They really understand what makes a film entertaining and worth watching, and I truly believe studios should want to hire more people in Hollywood like these guys. It’s a shame then, that we never got to see what they’re creative interpretation of Solo: A Star Wars Story would have been as I’m sure it would have been great compared to what we got instead (a controversial take). However…

I really don’t think this film is as great as I would have liked it to be though.

It feels a little more like The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is simply a fun adventure, rather than a groundbreaking cinematic film like the first one was.  The only reason I’d classify the first one as such is because it showed us that you can make fun and interesting ideas for a film out of any concept no matter how mundane or strange the idea may seem.  It continues the story and the fun traits present in the Lego Movie and when new things are added, they don’t necessarily add to the story or to the enjoyment of the film.  Some things they add that I wasn’t a fan of included musical numbers.  The songs in general for this film were really hit and miss for me.  Some of them were great like “The Catchy Song” which is definitely stuck inside my head as the song promises, and I like the song they played at the end credits and thought it was funny.  However, there were two songs sang by Tiffany Haddish in this film that I did not care for.  These were full blown musical numbers and they were not fun to watch.  They felt somewhat childish and I found myself waiting for them to end in all honesty.  I also didn’t care for the villain.  Without giving too much away, it is not who you expect the villain to be.  And while this person is very funny and the set up is very clever, his backstory doesn’t make sense and it raises more questions about this universe that are never answered.  The revelation of this villain and his backstory also creates more plot holes that makes this universe confusing to me.  If you’ve seen the movie, you likely are aware of what I’m talking about.  I found myself confused with this twist and I suspect the kids who see it will be lost as well.  I understand that this was likely an attempt to expand the universe that they’ve set up, but they instead make it more confusing.

In fact, there were a few jokes here that made this already complex universe more complex.  Without giving too much away, they make a joke in the movie about Batman going on his own stand-alone adventure and they explain he left the other characters for some time for that reason.  I understand this was just a funny joke to make a reference to the fact that there was a Lego Batman movie but this poses a question.  Since all these movies take place inside the imagination of one kid and his Lego set, was the stand-alone Batman film on another individual Lego set that this kid has of Gotham City?  I know this seems insignificant, but this is the type of stuff I left the film asking myself and thinking about.  The film in general too just feels like it’s more oriented towards kids which is disappointing because these films have always have been made for generally older kids and adults.  The jokes are still funny, but quite honestly not as funny as they usually are in these films.

With that being said, I overall really enjoyed this one!  I don’t think it’s as good as the other Lego movies, and I do hope we don’t get too many of these movies at one time and get tired of them, because every time I check out one of these films I always find myself really enjoying them.  The script may not be as funny as the last few were, but the pacing was on point and the film remained consistently entertaining from start to finish.  I am not sure how many more of these we are going to get, so if you want to see this movie and more like it in the future, be sure to go support it in theaters while it’s still out.  And see it quick if you have any interest in it because with the low box office numbers it’s receiving right now, it might not be there for much longer.  It’s not a masterpiece of film like the first film was, but The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is definitely entertaining, and you will likely enjoy it overall.

Written by: Christian Scognamillo

Baseball Preview: Aztecs Open Season at Home Again San Francisco

President’s weekend marks the beginning of a new season for San Diego State Baseball.

The Aztecs, who were picked to win the Mountain West by conference head coaches in the preseason poll this past Wednesday, begin their quest to defend their title with Opening Weekend against the University of San Francisco Dons beginning this Friday at 6:00 pm. The series continues Saturday, with first pitch also at 6:00 p.m. and getaway day is Sunday at 1:00 p.m.

Junior Logan Boyer, who was announced as MW Preseason Pitcher of the Year by Baseball America, will be the Opening Night Starter for the Aztecs, followed by senior Harrison Pyatt Saturday, and redshirt senior Brad Wegman on Sunday.

Boyer identifies the team’s high expectations for 2019, especially after the team’s recent success, winning the MW Conference in five of the last six seasons.

“I think that the big part is that we’re not going into it knowing we’re going to win but expecting to win, because of what has previously happened throughout the years and the guys this year understand after the fall that we’re going into the season a lot stronger,” he said. “I think that’s where the expectation of winning conference championships is coming from.”

A big part of last season’s championship season, had to with sophomore infielder/right-handed pitcher Casey Schmitt, a local product from Eastlake High School.

This year, Schmitt has been named to two Preseason All-American teams. The 2018 MWC Tournament Most Valuable Player was named to the 2019 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) second team and the 2019 Collegiate Baseball All-American Third team.

In addition to Schmitt, the Scarlet and Black also have all-MW selections returning in senior outfield Chad Bible and junior outfield Julian Escobedo. Besides being all-MW selections last year, Schmitt and Escobedo along with Boyer were named to the MW Preseason All-Conference team.

Besides the players, head coach Mark Martinez has aspirations to go as far possible in the NCAA Tournament.

“The next step is to win a regional and give us an opportunity to play past a regional, into a Super Regional and get to Omaha,” he said. “That’s the expectation of our program, to play for a national championship and we’re working on it.”

The Mountain West Champion Aztecs begin their quest to be in NCAA tournament Friday night at 6:00 p.m.

Written by: Breven Honda

Soundtrack to Dating: Best and Worst Date Stories

Soundtrack to Dating

Sound serves as one of the most important aspects to memory. In particular, songs help mark memorable moments in our lives, especially when it comes to dating.

The idea of songs and love together isn’t a new one. For as far as we can remember, after we had all started putting our tendrils into the sticky situation otherwise known as love, we would oftentimes ask each other “what’s your song?” Even today, couples put significance on the song most representative of a particular moment within their relationship. A “Soundtrack to Dating” if you will. And sometimes, after the relationship has soured, or after a particularly nasty incident, that song is forever ruined in the person’s mind. With that being said, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we asked members of KCR what songs they would include in their soundtrack to dating. Or, more specifically, we asked them what songs represent their best and worst dates, and why. Below are their stories.

The Best of the Soundtrack to Dating:

The Sound – The 1975

This song takes me back to my high school days, driving around downtown Seattle with my friends. The 1975 connected me with friends that I will have for a lifetime, and every time I re-listen to their first album, I am transported to my grunge days in the rainy city. This song, however, is off their second album and I will always remember the first time I heard it. I won a concert through a local radio station to meet the entire band, ask them questions, and hear a preview of their second album. As I sat next to my best friend (whom I had met at the very first 1975 concert), with the band sitting directly in front of me, I remember feeling euphoric in ways I can’t describe.

-Brittany Roache

Cherry Wine – Born Ruffians

This song takes me back to hanging out in my boyfriend’s bedroom, staring into each other’s eyes. I’m so serious. We do that sometimes. No talking, just staring. Uber romantic. 10/10 would recommend. And this is the perfect background song when you want to feel young and in love, but not sappy and tender.

-Monica Vigil

In My Dreams – Kali Uchis

I went on a date with a close friend of mine and while we did not end up dating, it felt like such a perfect date with no problems. This song comes to mind whenever I look back at how nice it felt having that date & remembering the friendship I have with that person now.

-Sofia Gomez

Baby I’m Bleeding – JPEGMAFIA

Okay, this one is a bit unconventional, so bear with me. One of my favorite dates was with someone who I never saw again. We met up for tacos and it felt like we really hit it off. As I’m walking her to her car, we decide let’s go to Target “for fun.” And so, we raced each other to the closest Target (for the sake of integrity, I’ll just say that I won), and then explored. After we finished, I jokingly said, “you know there’s more than one Target we can go to.” We drove probably 15 miles going to three different Targets, just wandering around and laughing. When we finally tired of that, I suggested tea from a place I loved. Unfortunately, I forgot the name of the spot, and took us to a spot I’d never been before. The tea was good at least, and we spent another couple hours talking. Afterwards, we decided to walk around. I revealed that I like to (badly) rap/sing, and for whatever reason, chose this song to demonstrate to her. I don’t think she was impressed, but I at least had the decency to censor myself throughout. She (a very pasty white girl), on the other hand, didn’t have that same filter, and instead dropped the N-word a couple of times in whatever song she decided to sing. When I kissed her goodbye, that was it. No sparks, no chemistry. It was awkward, and we never saw each other again. But in all honesty, ignoring that random act of racism and just lackluster ending, the rest of that date was really nice.

-Peter Swan

The Worst of the Soundtrack to Dating:

Cocaine – FIDLAR

The worst date I’ve ever been on was a second date that occurred two months after the first. Maybe that should’ve been a red flag. It started off okay at a karaoke bar in North Park, so we decided to head down the street to Coin Op. As we sat among the retro arcade games, things began to rapidly deteriorate. It all stemmed from me jokingly calling myself boring. That’s when he asked if I wanted to do cocaine. At Coin Op. On a Tuesday. I declined and it was all downhill from there. He said I seemed like the cliché of a girl who needs to get out of her shell. He said I should act more interested in people if I want to be interesting. He said it didn’t seem like I was having a good time. Shockingly, I wasn’t having a good time. Despite all of this mildly traumatizing psychoanalysis, I stuck around and even let him drive me home. Sometimes you just don’t want to pay for a Lyft.

-Andrea Renney

The Climb Miley Cyrus

I went hiking with a guy and it was a very intense hike. I was out of breath the whole time and it was almost impossible to keep a conversation, so I associate that song with that date.

-Nina Capuani

Paralyzer – Finger Eleven

If there is one piece of advice you take from this piece of modern literature, it’s to NEVER date a girl who works at a Harley Davidson dealership. About a year ago I was in a relationship with one of these aforementioned dames and on this particular occasion she decided to invite me to a party at her work. I was really excited at the time because I thought it would be a great chance to meet some of the people who were close to her, but as I was soon to find out, these were not the kind of people I was going to be fond of. Due to the nature of the dealership, the party was filled to the brim with biker gangs who all found my girlfriend pretty attractive. While this is usually a positive scenario, it seems to me that being in a gang sort of means the boundaries of being a decent human being get a bit blurry. The whole night I was walking around with my date, these kind gentlemen would stop by to slap her ass and flirt with her, right in front of me, the worst part being she was laughing and flirting back all the while. I even brought up to her how strange it all was and she said this behavior was commonplace at Harley parties. She had a great time. I did not. Worst date ever.

-Anonymous

Just a Friend – Biz Markie

We had only been on a few dates, but just by hearing the title of the song, you can probably guess where our relationship headed. The way the song is performed through vocals and instrumental as well as the lyrics brings me back exactly to when I hung out with this girl before and during college. Meanwhile, the chorus of the song is something I, and likely many others, can chant for days. Because of how relatable this song is, and how well performed it is, this remains one of my favorite songs to this day, even if it reminds me of a really lame time in my life.

-Christian Scognamillo

Kiss Me Thru the Phone – Soulja Boy

Once I was on a date at a bar with a guy I thought was too straight laced and boring, like a bran muffin in human form. And then this song came on and he said “oh this is that song by super boy.” SUPER BOY! Needless to say, I got out of there ASAP.

-Sarah Anderson

4 Your Eyez Only – J Cole

I know this is cheating but I once had sex to J Cole’s “4 Your Eyez Only” album. I was given the options of that or Led Zepplin (I love led Zepplin and I was not trying sully that love) so I chose J Cole. That was the one and only time I ever listened to that album. The only good thing I could say about that album is that it lasted longer than the guy, but trust me, before I left the album hadn’t finished, and neither had I.

-Julie Cappiello

Written by: Peter Swan

Cautious Clay at House Of Blues

Cautious Clay pushes musical boundaries and captivates listeners at House of Blues San Diego‘s own Voodoo Room.

When I first discovered Cautious Clay, I was instantly drawn to the unique richness in his voice. Each song I listened to seemed to get better by the minute. Later, I learned that Cautious Clay was no ordinary alternative R&B artist. Josh Karpeh is the man behind it all. He’s a singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist who coined the name “Cautious Clay” after Muhammad Ali, aka Cassius Clay. The all-in-one musician remains unsigned and continues to defy boundaries in the name of music. Karpeh attended George Washington University to study jazz saxophone and has continued to use his classically trained background as a tool to push boundaries. By keeping a “minimalist” mindset when writing his songs, Cautious gets to explore the line between keeping his music simple and clean, while making it powerful and touching.

While many listeners are drawn to his beautiful harmonies and catchy beats, the stories he tells through his lyrics is what I believe puts him above the rest. Following the release of his first EP, Blood TypeCautious was interviewed by Billboard Magazine, whom asked the musician what he hoped his listeners would gain from this EP. He responds, “I would like my listeners to be more intentional with their time and the people they hang out with. Make sure you’re surrounding yourself with people who are worth your time. I know that’s really heady and deep, but that’s what the lyrics are about.” Since then, Cautious Clay has appeared on tracks with notable artists like AlunaGeorge and Hudson Mohawke, and recently linked up with electronica star, Medasin, to produce his newest single “HONEST ENOUGH.”

After months of playing his songs on repeat, I felt it was only fitting to attend his concert in San Diego. The concert was hosted in the Voodoo Room at the House of Blues, and while the venue was smaller than I had anticipated, it made the experience even more intimate.

Opening with a fan favorite, “Elsewhere,” I could feel my heartrate increase with only the first few chords. Cautious expressed to Billboard magazine that this song was written about his struggles with student debt and the inability to escape tough situations, which is something that many listeners are able to relate to. I was originally drawn to this song because of the unique mixture of electronica and indie production combined with his soulful harmonies, but it is the honesty behind his lyrics that kept me hitting the repeat button.

While I was personally disappointed by the energy in the crowd, Cautious Clay maintained a steady stage presence that kept me on my toes. After pulling out a saxophone and flute for songs such as “Stolen Moments” and “Call Me,” I became only more captivated by his talent.

Following the performance of some of his most popular hits like “Blood Type” and “French Riviera,” Karpeh asked the audience to give a round of applause to his bandmates before they momentarily left the stage. As he pulls out his acoustic guitar, the crowd starts to settle down before Cautious performed an unreleased track off his upcoming EP. The song was slow, but far from boring. This ballad was deep and emotional, and will soon touch the hearts of listeners alike.

I am eager for the release of his upcoming EP, Table of Context, as well as his return to San Diego in the future. My hopes for his next tour is that the crowd is more respectful and attentive to his stage presence because my expectations unfortunately fell short this time around. While his performance was still honest and true, I believe that an audience within his age range would be more courteous to the passion he poured out on stage. All-in-all, there are many big things in store for Cautious Clay this year. Although he’s already killing it, I’d say that he is just getting started.

Review By: Brittany Roache
Photos by: Brittany Roache